We owe a debt to our nation’s Veterans: To honor our wounded and fallen warriors from ALL conflicts.
Each year HALO hosts 30-50 combat wounded veterans that range from WWII to current conflicts in Iraq & Afghanistan.
The below list of Warriors are our confirmed attendees/participants in the 2018 “Weekend to Remember.”
Many of our Warrior participants have sustained combat injuries and received the Purple Heart Medal for those injuries.

Please take a couple minutes to read over our Honored Warriors’ bios and consider a donation or a table purchase to the 2018 “Weekend to Remember” Warrior’s Gala.

Don Jenkins

Medal of Honor Recipient – U.S. Army – Staff Sergeant (Ret.) Vietnam Veteran – Purple Heart

Don Jenkins, from Quality, Kentucky, had been working in the coal mines for several years when in the Spring of 1968 at age 19, he received his draft notice and reported to Fort Campbell.  By October 1968, PFC Jenkins was in Vietnam with Alpha Company, 2d Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division.  Just three months later, in January 1969, Don and his unit were dropped off in Kien Phong Province where large numbers of North Vietnamese were dug into bunkers directly around their landing zone.  Within minutes of landing, their unit took heavy fire.  Don ran to an exposed position in front of his unit and opened fire on the enemy gathered around log bunkers.  Several charged him; he killed them all.  When his M-60 jammed, he grabbed a rifle and continued to fire on the enemy.  In need of more ammunition, Don then made multiple trips through heavy fire to get more ammunition from dead GIs.  When there was no more ammunition on the battlefield, Don crawled to a fallen comrade with two antitank weapons, grabbed them, and ran within twenty yards of two North Vietnamese bunkers and took out both of them with the antitank weapons.  While firing an M-79 grenade launcher, he was struck in the legs and stomach with shrapnel, but, hearing the cries of help from fellow soldiers trapped in the midst of battle, he ignored his own injuries and crawled back through the high jungle grass to reach a wounded soldier.  Don dragged him over hundred yards to safety then crawled back into the darkness several more times, and one by one, rescued three more wounded soldiers.

Don returned home later that same year, and, after his discharge, went back to work in the coal mines of Kentucky.  One afternoon in 1971, an Army officer arrived at his door and told him he needed to get a new suit and a haircut; he was going to Washington, D.C.   There, on March 3, 1971, President Richard Nixon presented him with the Medal of Honor.  After the ceremony, Don returned to Kentucky and worked in the coal mines until 1999, when he was forced to retire because of a disability.

Leroy Petry

Medal of Honor Recipient – U.S. Army Ranger Master Sergeant (Ret.) Iraq & Afghanistan Veteran –Purple Heart

Leroy A. Petry enlisted in the United States Army in 1999 from his hometown of Santa Fe, New Mexico, something he wanted to do since he was seven years old.  After completion of Infantry One Station Unit Training, the Airborne Course and the Ranger Indoctrination Program at Ft. Benning, Georgia he was assigned to Delta Company, 2nd Ranger Batallion, 75th Ranger Regiment.  On the morning of September 11th, 2001, Leroy was in training to be a Ranger, and his instructor told the class, “Keep training, you might be going to war.”  Within months, Leroy was in Afghanistan for the first of 8 deployments – 2 to Irag and 6 to Afghanistan – for overseas contingency operations in support of the Global War on Terror.

On May 28, 2008, during a tour with the 75th Rangers in Paktya Province, Afghanistan near the mountainous border of Pakistan, Leroy and dozens of Rangers were executing a high-risk daylight mission into an insurgent compound.  The insurgents were heavily armed, but it was considered a risk worth taking because intel indicated that a top Al Qaeda Commander was in the compound.  As the helicopters touched down, the Rangers immediately came under fire.  Within minutes, Leroy and another Ranger pushed ahead into a courtyard, surrounded by high mud walls.  As the enemy opened up, Leroy was hit in both legs by AK-47 fire.   Bleeding profusely, Leroy summoned the strength to lead the other Ranger to cover, behind a chicken coop.  As Leroy radioed for support, he hurled a grenade at the enemy, giving cover to a third Ranger who rushes to their aid.  An enemy grenade exploded hereby, wounding his two comrades.  Then, a second grenade landed – this time, only a few feet away.   Instead of seeking cover, Leroy lunged forward, toward the live grenade.  He picked it up, cocked his arm to throw it back and, just as he was releasing the grenade it detonated, amputating his right hand at the wrist, showering him with shrapnel, and saving the lives of his Ranger brothers.  Despite his grievous wounds, Leroy remained calm and even put on his own tourniquet.  He continued to lead, directing his team, giving orders, communicating the situation by radio, and even telling the medics how to treat his wounds.

Leroy was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2011 and continued his Army service as a Liaison Officer for the United States Special Operations Command Care Coalition.  He considered it a great opportunity to work with the care coalition; stating “If I can’t go to the fight, I can help the men who are wounded, injured or ill.”  Leroy retired in 2014.  He and his wife, Ashley, have four children: Brittany, Austin, Reagan and Landon.

Gregory D. Gadson

U.S. Army – Colonel – Kosovo, Iraq & Afghanistan Veteran – Double Amputee – Purple Heart

Actor in the Hollywood movie Battleship

Colonel Gregory D. Gadson, a Chesapeake, Va., native; served our nation in the United States Army for more than 26 years. Colonel Gadson’s service culminated as the Garrison Commander of Fort Belvoir, where he oversaw the daily operations of the post, a strategic sustaining base where more than 50,000 military personnel and employees provide logistical, intelligence, medical and administrative support, and command and control for a mix of more than 140 commands and agencies for the Department of Defense.

A 25-year career Army officer, Col. Gadson’s life is a portrait of courage in the face of great adversity. In May 2007, as commander of the 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery, Col. Gadson’s greatest challenge came in Iraq, where an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack cost him both legs above the knees and normal use of his right arm and hand. Despite this, Gadson remained on active duty in the Army and continued to inspire many with his message of courage, perseverance, determination and teamwork. Refusing to be defined by the proverbial “hail of bullets,” he has since drawn upon the lessons of Pride, Poise and Team, learned as a West Point linebacker, and applied them to his life, career and family.

Commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant of Field Artillery in 1989 from the United States Military Academy at West Point, Greg served in every major conflict of the past two decades, including Operations Desert Shield/Storm in Kuwait; Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia-Herzegovina; Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Greg served in various assignments throughout the world. He dedicated himself to leading the Soldiers, civilian employees and family members in living the Army Values of Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage.

Greg is a passionate advocate for wounded warriors, veterans and those with disabilities; on several occasions, testified before Congress on issues related to these groups.

In 2007, Tom Coughlin, New York Giants head coach, asked Gadson to meet with the then-struggling team. Gadson talked to the players about service, teamwork, duty, perseverance and adversity. His message resonated and the New York Giants defeated the 18-0 New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. Greg made his silver screen debut in 2012 as a lead actor in the blockbuster movie Battleship; where he portrayed a war-injured veteran that helped save the world from an alien invasion.

In 2015, he completed season one of The Inspectors, a family television series on CBS.

Greg continues a very energetic and dynamic lifestyle where he continues to serve his nation as an entrepreneur and managing partner of Patriot Strategies, LLC, a government services company. He is also an accomplished photographer/artist and remains active in cycling, skiing and scuba.

Greg’s military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal; Legion of Merit (2); Bronze Stars (3); Purple Heart; the Meritorious Service Medal (3) and the Army Commendation Medal (3). He is a graduate of Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; and holds masters degrees in Information Systems from Webster University; and Policy Management from Georgetown University. He holds an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Webster University.

Dana Bowman

U.S. Army Veteran – Sergeant First Class – Special Forces / Golden Knight Member -Double Amputee

Dana Bowman has astounded the nation and the world with his drive, determination, and will to succeed.  He is a retired Sergeant First Class with the U.S. Army where he was a Special Forces Soldier and a member of the U.S. Army’s elite parachute team, the Golden Knights.  Dana Bowman is a double amputee.  He lost his legs in an accident during the annual Golden Knights training in Yuma, Arizona, in 1994.

On February 6, 1994, Dana gained worldwide attention when he and his teammate Sgt. Jose Aguillon collided in midair during the team’s annual training.  Aguillon died instantly. Dana’s legs were severed from his body, one above the knee and one below the knee.  Nine months later, he turned this tragedy into a triumph when he became the first double amputee to re-enlist in the United States Army.  This achievement is just one example of his many successes under adverse circumstances.

Dana retired from the United States Army in 1996.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree in commercial aviation at the University of North Dakota in May of 2000.

Dana has given more than 400 speeches in the last few years and has been featured in magazines such as Sports Illustrated, Reader’s Digest, People and many more.  There have also been numerous television programs which focused on Dana and his story including Dateline, A Current Affair, Real TV, NBC Person of the Week, Day and Date and Extra.  Dana has been fortunate to have the opportunity to let his speeches touch so many from the physically challenged to the able-bodied.  He strives to show physically challenged people can still work and excel in today’s society and military.  Dana emphasizes the words amputee and uselessness are not synonymous.

Dana spends a great deal of his personal time working with other amputees and disabled or physically challenged people. As the founder and President of the HALO for Freedom Warrior Foundation, Dana continues his selfless work giving back to the brave men and women that have given so much of themselves for our country.  Dana jumps the HALO for Freedom Warrior Foundation Logo in to the many events he addresses annually and tells his audiences about our group and our cause.

Jerry “Rusty” Bradley

U.S. Army – Major – Ranger, Special Forces – Iraq & Afghanistan Veteran  – Purple Heart

Major Jerry “Rusty” Bradley enlisted in the U.S. Army in July 1993 and served with the 25th Infantry Division as a Ranger, qualified Scout, Sniper, and Combat Tracker at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. In 1998 he was accepted to Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Upon graduation from OCS and the Infantry Officer Basic Course in 1999, Rusty worked at the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82d Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In 2002, he was selected for U.S. Special Forces. In 2005, after nearly two years of training, he graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course, and was subsequently assigned to 1st Battalion 3th Special Forces Group (A) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina where he served as a Special Forces Detachment Commander, Company Commander and S-3 Operations officer. In December 2008 Rusty was selected for Major.

In 2009, he was then selected to serve at the United States Anny Special Operations Command where he worked in the G-3 Operations Division. Rusty was hand selected by two Commanding Generals of Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan to deploy twice and implement Strategic initiatives far above his pay grade.

Major Bradley has served 8 combat tours in Afghanistan. He has worked in some of the most remote places in the world ad bas personally advised the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Gen David Petraeus and Gen. Stan McChrystal.

Major Bradley’s awards include the 6 Bronze Star Medals (1 for Valor), The Purple Heart Medal, 1 Army Commendation Medal for Valor, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, 5 Army Commendation Medals, 3 Army Achievement Medals, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal with Arrow Head Device, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Arrowhead device, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Master Paratroopers Badge, Ranger Tab,. Special Forces Tab, Combat Divers Badge, and Air Assault Badge. He has received the Presidential Unit Citation, Valorous Unit Award, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Citation, and the Superior Unit Award. Additionally, Major Bradley is a graduate and qualified instructor at the Malaysian Tracker Course and Survival Escape Resistance and Evasion (SERE) survival school.

He has earned 4 Valor awards from 3 different countries. Major Bradley is one of only 40 US service members in the history of the US military to receive the Medal of Valor from the Canadian President. His additional Foreign Awards include the French Missions D’ Assistance Exterieure (Gold), (the equivalent to the Silver Star for valor in France).

Major Bradley recently received medical retirement for wounds received in combat after nearly 21 years of service.

Scott Palomino

U.S. Air Force – Senior Airmen – Iraq War Veteran/Amputee – Purple Heart

As part of Command and Control Battle Management Operations, Senior Airmen Scott Palomino was an Aerospace Control and Warning Systems Operator, assigned to the 603rd Air Control Squadron at Aviano Air Base, Italy.   The El Paso Native tracked and controlled military aircrafts with weapon systems on them.  On April 10, 2004, while at Balad Air Base, Iraq, providing Theater Air Control for all military branches during hostile combat and missions, Scott was injured when a mortar round exploded in his tent resulting in the loss of his left leg, below the knee.  The mortar attack hit three of his crew injuring two and killing one, AIC Antoine J. Holt.

Scott returned to Texas to focus on his education and attended Texas A&M University-Commerce where I pledged Sigma Chi the second semester of my freshman year.  I pledge Sigma Chi because they did not look at me as a man with one leg, as someone who is disabled, or some reject.  They showed me the utmost respect and took me in as one of their own.  I actually thought that my life was over, that I would not have friends again, and that I would never meet another woman to love.   My life changed for the better after meeting my Sigma Chi Brothers and I will forever be thankful to them and Sigma Chi.  My Brothers showed me that life was not over and there was still so much more to live for!  I have always been very athletic and enjoy running and playing basketball. And, I also met my wonderful wife, Amanda Michelle Palomino (Alpha Phi), at a Sigma Chi mixer!

Scott always thrived on physical and athletic activities and enjoys an active lifestyle and was part of the 2013 and 2014 USAF Wounded Warrior Wheelchair Basketball Team, Sitting Volleyball, and Track & Field Team where he placed second in the 1600 M run with a time of 5 min 34 sec at the 2013 Wounded Warrior Games.  Scott was also the USA Team Captain for the 2014 Invictus Games in London, England where he earned two silver medals. Scott is currently the Director of the Airmen & Family Readiness Center at Carswell AFB, Texas, and a Certified Personal Financial Counselor. His goal in life is to continue to work with, and support, Veterans and their families in their recovery and transition to civilian life.  He is currently attending Texas Christian University enrolled in the Masters of Social Work (MSW) Program.

Scott’s major achievements include: Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) from Texas A & M University after retiring from the Air Force; Intramural Basketball Champions four years in a row at A & M, meeting the Love of My Life, Amanda M. McGill and getting married in 2013; his daughter, Abigail Grace; and his military awards: Purple Heart, Operation Iraqi Freedom Combat Wounded Veteran; Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Senior Airman Below-The-Zone promotion; and United States Air Force Basic Training Honor Graduate.

Michael “Mike” Vasquez

U.S. Army – Corporal – Iraq & Afghanistan Veteran – Purple Heart

Michael “Mike” Vasquez enlisted in in the U.S. Army in 2005 and graduated from One Station Unit Training at Ft. Benning, Georgia as an Airborne Infantryman in 2005.  He deployed to Iraq in 2007 and 2008 as an Infantryman Machine Gunner protecting civilian contractors and recovering blown up vehicles.

In 2009, Mike deployed to Afghanistan as an Infantryman team leader to provide Protective Security Detail for Military Intelligence soldiers and worked as a Human Intelligence exploitation expert as a secondary role.  Mike’s roles as a team leader were: machine gunner, Squad Designated Marksman, multimedia exploitation expert, UGS (unmanned ground sensors/cameras) emplacer/operator and was frequently attached to two SF units: ODA 9224 and 2221 of 19th group Special Forces as a machine gunner when needed.

On July 10, 2009, while serving as a turret gunner and marksman with the 636 Military Intelligence and 19th Group Special Forces in Afghanistan, Mike’s vehicle was struck with RPGs and small arms fire severely injuring him in the gunner’s turret and his team members inside.  Despite his severe injuries, Mike continued to engage the enemy, eliminated the threat and helped to get other injured comrades to safety.  Mike suffered a traumatic brain injury, spinal contusion, shrapnel and abdominal wounds, partial blindness, left side paralysis, and other injuries.

Mike recovered at Landsthul, Germany and Brooke Army Medical Center at Ft.  Sam Houston, Texas and was medically discharged in 2010.   In 2013, Mike underwent brain surgery to alleviate symptoms from the TBI in Afghanistan which contributed to the loss of use of both of his legs and feet.  Mike is forever bound to a wheelchair now and is a paraplegic from the waist down.

He is the recipient of the Bronze Star with Valor, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medals, and many others.

Mike has a Bachelors in Applied Sciences (Human Services and Psychology) from Wayland Baptist University and is now attending Texas Tech University seeking a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Communication Design.  He aspires to continue to help other wounded veterans that are in a similar situation and loves to advocate for VA reform to better the health care of wounded veterans.  Mike is an active board member and the Graphics and Media Director for HALO For Freedom Warrior Foundation.  His hobbies include: Shooting, competing in marathons on his hand-cycle, volunteering with non-profits and his church, and more than anything: spending time with his family.

Aubrey T. Hand III

U.S. Air Force  – Senior Airman – Afghanistan veteran – Purple Heart

Aubrey Hand swore into the U.S. Air Force in June 2010 and became a Security Forces member. He Volunteered for a deployment to Afghanistan in the spring of 2012 and was attached to 455 ESFS & 755ESFS for route and culvert clearance, compound and village searches (HVTs, IED materials, and weapons cache), base attacks and IDF response, meet and greet with local village leaders, presence patrols, and worked with Afghan National Police and the Afghan Army.

While on a mounted patrol of route and culvert clearance, a 200 pound IED was detonated under his vehicle. The impact caused severe damage to his left foot and brain. He was diagnosed with severe PTSD, TBI, Achilles damage (tearing), fractured heel, and all of the bones in the joint were destroyed. The TBI caused persistent headaches, memory recall issues and decreased vision.

After being stabilized at Bagram Afghanistan, he was medevac’d to Landstuhl, Germany for a physical and mental assessment, deemed unfit to return to Afghanistan, and sent back to his duty station stateside. He spent the next four years in occupational and physical therapy at Fort Bragg undergoing several procedures and surgeries attempting to heal his leg. In July 2016 Aubrey opted to have his left leg amputated below the knee at Walter Reed Medical Center because of the constant nerve pain.

Aubrey says his time at Walter Reed has been physically and mentally life changing for the better. The goal has always been to run again, but now he’s doing more than he would have ever imagined. Aubrey now competes on his hand cycle in marathons, golfs, swims, paddle boards, and even snowboarded five months after amputation. Most of all he enjoys that he can chase after his two-year-old son Theron and run with his dog.

Alec Ross

U.S Army – Captain – Panama, Iraq, and Afghanistan Veteran

US Army Airborne Ranger Alec Ross was stationed at Ft. Lewis with Charlie Company, 2nd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment from 1989-1993.   During Operation Just Cause, Alec was wounded on December 20, 1989 on a combat jump into Rio Hato, Panama.  The Rangers jump altitude was around 400 feet that day, “Six Minutes!!”  The jumpmasters started their pre-jump commands.  When it was time to stand up, Alec’s knees had never been so thankful.  Now it would be his legs and shoulders that would bear the discomfort of the tremendous weight of equipment. The C-130 had interior red lights and Alec heard someone reciting the Ranger Creed. He could hear the plane taking hits from ground fire, and away they went.  He had a perfect exit, no twists.  However, his riser was shot and he streamed in somewhere around 100 Feet.

Alec was medically discharged out of the military in 1993.  From 2003-2008 he worked as a defense contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan, rehabilitated and then reenlisted in the Army Reserves in 2005.  Alec was selected for the Army Physician Assistant program in 2008 and graduated with a Master’s degree in Physician Assistant studies and was commissioned in September 2010.  He served several posts and is currently a Physician Assistant with Special Operations Command Africa and working as a civilian at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky in a Troop Medical Clinic caring for our Soldiers and their families.

Jorge DeLeon

U.S Army – Afghanistan Veteran – Coalition to Salute American Heroes – Purple Heart

Jorge DeLeon joined the U.S. Army in 2001 after eight years on the police force in Puerto Rico.  On his fourth deployment to Afghanistan in April 2004, Jorge and his unit were on their way back to camp after a patrol through the region.  Jorge was driving the lead Humvee of the convey.  While maneuvering his vehicle to avoid an insurgent attack, he ran over an anti-tank mine.  Having taken the full brunt of the mine, Jorge was the only one injured in the explosion.  Jorge suffered multiple injuries resulting from the explosion –  his lost his right leg immediately, his left leg was severely injured, he suffered hearing loss and a Traumatic Brain Injury.  He underwent a long recovery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and now wears a computer-controlled prosthetic leg.

Jorge briefly returned to law enforcement, working for the Department of Defense as a radio operator with the police department at Fort Sam Houston.  Today he is employed full time with Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes as Director of the Family Support Network and is their Liaison to Brooke Army Medical Center. In addition, he serves as the Assistant Vice President Midwest Region and National Spokesperson for Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes to help to raise awareness for the organization and to inspire other wounded veterans to remain hopeful, even in times of extreme distress and isolation.  Jorge’s story is one of perseverance that can be a model for those going through similar situations.  He resides in Texas with his wife and three young children.

Doug Doss

U.S. Marine Corps Veteran – Corporal

Ohio native, Doug Doss, proudly served 4 years with the U.S. Marine Corps assigned to MAG-14 VMA-224 All Weather Attack Squadron, an A-6 squadron based out of Cherry Point, North Carolina.  He was an Avionics Technician and served at bases including Iwakuni, Japan, Cubi Point, Philippines, El Toro, California.  He received awards for meritorious unit citations for Squadron readiness, over-seas service, good conduct and others.

After leaving the Corps, Doug returned to Ohio as a Supervisor for the Ford Motor Company, Ohio Assembly Plant for 12 years where he supervised in Paint, Trim, Chassis, and the Testing and Repair areas.  The vehicle models included the Econoline van, Escape/Mariner, and F650/750.  He served as the only Supervisor trained on their Emergency Response Team.  In 2011, Doug received the Ford Motor Company’s President’s Health and Safety Award for his accomplishments during a home fire rescue he facilitated while driving home from work.

He also worked 3 years with PolyOne Corp. in Avon, Ohio as Research Technologist in their vinyl polymerization and compounding area and was a trained Emergency Response Team member.  Doug returned Amherst, Ohio in July 2015 to supervise the Machining Services division of Nordson Corp.  Nordson is a global leader in the manufacture of dispensing and coating equipment. Doug’s last assignment with Nordson was as a Quality Analyst. He also serves on the Emergency Response Team for Nordson.

Doug enjoys helping others and has volunteered his time to Habitat for Humanity building homes, the Red Cross blood bank, Harvest for Hunger food bank, and his favorite – helping with HALO for Freedom’s Weekend to Remember Wounded Warrior events. He assists where needed and especially enjoys helping with the skydiving events.  He received his skydiving training by Dana Bowman and members of the Golden Knight Parachute Team.  He has over 400 skydives to his credit.  Doug was also a successful bone marrow donor in 2001 and frequently communicates with the recipient who had a complete recovery.

Aaron Fowler

U.S. Army –  Sergeant First Class – Kosovo, Iraq Veteran – Purple Heart

Born in San Diego, California in 1979 with a childhood spanning California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Arizona. Aaron Fowler enlisted into the US Army in Tucson Arizona in October of 1997 as an Infantryman and completed basic training and advanced individual training at Fort Benning, Georgia.

His first duty station in Mannheim, Germany saw him participate in NATO training deployments to numerous European nations and a real-world deployment to Albania in preparation and support to the crisis in Kosovo.

Next serving the Army at Fort Lewis, Washington during the initial fielding of the Stryker combat vehicle before arriving at Fort Hood, Texas in April of 2003 to serve in the 1st Cavalry Division and complete 3 deployments to Baghdad, Iraq totaling 39 months of combat. Sergeant Fowler was wounded in Iraq and received the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat. His unit is portrayed in the National Geographic mini-series, The Long Road Home.

After medically retiring in 2012 with 15 years of service, Aaron spends his time focusing on his family, helping fellow veterans, and enjoying the outdoors. Since leaving the Army he has begun working in the film industry as a military technical advisor (The Long Road Home from Nat Geo) and actor (The Long Road Home, Revolution season 2, and American Crime).

Benjamin Hayhurst

U.S. Army – Iraq Veteran – Purple Heart

Benjamin Hayhurst joined the U.S. Army as an Infantryman in September 1999. His first duty station was 2nd Infantry Division – Camp Casey, Korea – as an Automatic Rifleman (240B) and a Bradley driver. Hayhurst reenlisted shortly after Sept 11th 2001 and was assigned to C Co, 2/5 Cav, 1st Cav Division at Fort Hood, TX. He deployed to Iraq in 2004 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II.  Hayhurst was wounded (two bullets to the left shoulder, shrapnel to head and neck) while separated from his task force in Sadr City, Iraq on the 4th day in country. After he was treated and healed, Hayhurst was back in the fight in late June, completed the deployment and transitioned out of the Army upon returning to the states.

Two books have been written about the day Ben was wounded: Black Knights, Dark Days by Matt Fisk and The Long Road Home by Martha Raddatz. The Long Road Home was produced into a mini-series based on the book and broadcasted world-wide on The National Geographic Channel.

Nowadays Ben is building a business as a custom knife maker and blacksmith while living on a small hobby farm in Washington State. He and his wife Sarah (they met at Ft. Hood, she was an Army Medic) have two children, three dogs, 30 chickens and three turkeys (for now, lol).

Carl Wild

U.S. Army – Sergeant – Iraq & Afghanistan Veteran – Purple Heart

Carl Wild was enlisted into the Army in May 2001. He served with 2/5 First Calvary division as a Infantryman. In March 2004, then Specialist Wild, deployed to Sadr City, Iraq where he took place in one of the wars deadliest battles of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The battle, referred to as “Black Sunday,” was later made into a National Geographic mini-series The Long Road Home.

On April 4, 2004 (04/04/04), Wild’s actions earned him the Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device. During this 12-month deployment, Wild’s unit participated in 90 days of sustained fighting, followed by a short lull in the action, followed by another 60 days of sustained combat, then sporadic engagement until his redeployment to Fort Hood, TX in March 2005.

Upon completing his time in the regular Army, Wild joined the Texas National Guard. In 2007 he deployed back to Iraq as truck commander providing convoy security. In 2008 Wild was recruited by 636 MI and assigned as tactical team leader to a small mixed team of Infantry Men and Intelligence personnel. Together they deployed to Afghanistan in January of 2009.

On March 9, 2009 Wild was struck by multiple pieces of shrapnel from a 107mm rocked that landed next to his vehicle. He was medevac’d to the states where he underwent numerous surgeries. Wild lost his right kidney, suffered shrapnel lacerations, and suffered a severe concussion from the rocket explosion. Despite this Sergeant Wild returned to Afghanistan four months later and resumed combat operations until the deployment’s end. Once retuning home Sergeant Wild was placed in a Traumatic Brain Injury clinic where he remained for eight months. Despite his best efforts, he was forced into medical retirement in May of 2012.

SGT Wilds military awards and decorations include: The Bronze Star Medal w/valor device, Purple heart, Army commendation medal, Army Achievement Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Combat Infantry Bade, Combat Action Badge, Lone star distinguished service medal and The Order of Saint Maurice(Legionnaire).

Sergeant Wild now resides in North Texas with his longtime girlfriend and his 14-year-old daughter. He is currently enrolled in college full-time and working on a radiography degree.

Eric Borquin

U.S. Army – Sergeant First Class – Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran

Born in Dallas, Bourquin grew up in central Texas and enlisted in the Army in 1998. He trained  as an infantryman while completing basic training and advanced individual training at Fort Benning, Georgia.  Bourquin went on to serve in the 1st Cavalry Division and 1st Infantry Division in various leadership positions.

Eric Bourquin is a decorated U.S. Army veteran who completed three combat tours, one in Afghanistan and two in Iraq.  On April 4, 2004, during his first deployment, Bourquin’s platoon was ambushed in Sadr City, Iraq. The deadly battle came to be known as “Black Sunday.”  Bourquin’s life story is part of the National Geographic Channel’s global event miniseries The Long Road Home, about the Black Sunday battle, based on the New York Times-bestselling book by Martha Raddatz.  Bourquin served as a military technical adviser for the series.

In 2013 Bourquin retired after 15 years of service and has devoted his time to his wife, Leslie, and their four children. Boroquin now focuses on his own healing, helping other veterans heal, and enjoying new experiences outside of the military.

Jim Batchelor

U.S. Army – Specialist – Iraq Veteran – Purple Heart 

Jim Batchelor served in the U.S. Army as an infantryman with the 1st Calvary Division. He was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and was involved in one of the deadliest battles known as “Black Sunday.” It was on this day that Jim was shot in the head during a firefight.

After being medevac’d and discharged from the Army, Jim received a bachelor’s degree and a masters in national security at Angelo State.

He is a member of Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Fraternity, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, and Disabled American Veterans. He is a scholar of the Sam Rayburn Foundation Scholarship Program and a past member of the Texas A&M University at Commerce Sociology and Criminal Justice Honor Society.

Jim holds dear to his heart: his wife, two children, his home, and everything he has worked hard to accomplish after being injured.

John Kremer

U.S. Navy – Afghanistan and Iraq War Veteran – Purple Heart

John Kremer, A Franklin, Ohio native, was an Academic All-Ohio wrestler. After high school he decided to serve his country in the Navy as an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Technician.

He was sent to Destin, Florida and taught how to disarm IED’s and other explosives with the intent of attaching him and his skills to various Special Operations units.

Afterwards, he was sent to Oak Harbor, Washington to join EODMU 11 and placed on detachment 17.  In his first two deployments to Iraq he disarmed over 500 IED’s as the primary robot operator.

Next, he became a member of EODMU 1 and deployed to the mountains of Afghanistan. While he was there his daughter, Adalyn, was born. Twelve days later on 17 September 2010 while supporting soldiers on a patrol he stepped on a landmine that would cause the amputation of both of his legs below the knee.

John’s decorations include: 3 Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart Medal, Two Combat Action Ribbons, Two Army Commendation Medals, and a Navy Achievement Medal.

During John’s recovery in San Diego, CA, he was introduced adaptive sports. He participated in the winter biathlon for Team USA and competed for Team Navy during the Warrior Games winning a gold medal in Volleyball, Bronze Medal in Basketball, Gold in Swimming for 50m freestyle and 50m backstroke.  He won Gold two years in a row for shooting. Following the Warrior Games John was selected to compete for Team USA at the first Invictus Games in London, England.  John is now on the USA Men’s National Sitting Volleyball Team that competed in the Paralympics in Rio and recently took 6th in the Intercontinental Cup in China.  They recently competed in an international competition that earned them their highest ranking ever at 8th in the world.  This summer he will be competing in the Netherlands with the USA Men’s National Sitting Volleyball Team.  John is also finishing his degree in business management and lives in Buford, GA with his wife Gabbie and his daughter Adalyn.  He enjoys coaching volleyball to local high school teams and skydiving.

 

Patrick “Mac” McElrath

U.S. Army – PFC -Ranger – Purple Heart

Patrick “Mac” McElrath joined the Army at 18, and went on to become an Army Ranger with the 2/75th Ranger BN at Fort Lewis Washington. Mac was a mortar-man with Weapons platoon when tasked with his first combat mission. On December 20, 1989 Patrick parachuted with his mortar tube into Rio Hato Panama during the Panama invasion in a middle of the night under heavy fire. The mass-tac low altitude airborne invasion was spearhead by his Ranger Unit.  Due to high winds and low altitude, he collided with some of his Ranger buddies midair causing his parachute to collapse resulting in a hard landing that left him paralyzed from his chest down and a broken femur.

During his long rehabilitation, he met a newly graduated nurse whom he dated for 1 year, and then married and now has four children with her.  Early into his injury, Patrick went on to compete and medal in wheelchair racing, learned to sit water ski, and has completed the 2 day 208 mile Seattle to Portland bicycle classic twice.  He tries to stay connected with his Ranger buddies and give back and has setup a number of charity turkey hunts for Army Rangers open to Rangers who have been awarded the Purple Heart.

In 2002 Patrick graduated with a business degree from the University of Washington and currently works as an IT Federal Manager for Deloitte Consulting LLP on projects that fall under the Department of Defense.

William David Carlson

U.S. Army – Sergeant – Afghanistan Veteran – Purple Heart

William David Carlson was born in Fort Worth in May 1985. He joined the U.S. Army in January 2008 after several years of attending the University of North Texas. William put college on hold and enlisted to become an Army EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) Technician.  After completing the yearlong EOD school, he was assigned to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii with the 706th Ordnance (EOD) Co. He then deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with the 74th EOD Co. on August 2010. In April 2011, William was wounded from an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) in Helmand Province, Afghanistan when a Marine service-member inadvertently triggered a hidden device. Several people, including William, were wounded. He sustained the complete loss and removal of his left eye and some permanent and uncorrectable vision loss of his right eye. William started his recovery, with the help of his wife Kelly, at Brooke Army Medical center in San Antonio, TX. After several months William returned to his unit in Hawaii, where he helped conduct training for new EOD techs arriving to the unit.

William retired and separated from active military service in October 2012 at the rank of Sergeant and with the Senior EOD Badge.

After retiring from the military, William completed his college degree at the University of North Texas with a B.S. in geography. However, he didn’t want to leave the military lifestyle just yet.  William went on to EOD contracting in the Sahara Desert portion of northern Mali in Africa. Afterwards, he became a clinical data specialist for cancer research at UT Southwestern in Dallas, TX.

William now lives in Little Elm, Texas with his wife, Kelly.

Christopher Ferrell

U.S. Air Force – Technical Sergeant – Iraq & Afghanistan Veteran – Purple Heart

Chris served in the United States Air Force for 13 years as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician with over 450 combat missions, disarming or destroying over 400 IEDs and thousands of Unexploded Ordnance.  He has deployed to multiple locations in Afghanistan and Iraq. As an EOD Team Leader, Chris was tasked for the neutralization and destruction of Improvised Explosive Devices and all explosive hazards during their missions.  Chris spent majority of his career on dismounted operations with any units that requested their support, to include Foreign Special Operations Teams and US Special Operations.

On 15 Dec, 2009, Chris and his team were in support of 22 SAS in the Helmand Province to take out an IED facilitator.  Their two teams already cleared four compounds and several IEDs, when their teammate, TSgt Tony Campbell, stepped on an IED killing him and throwing Chris and his teammates approximately 15 feet.  Once, the smoke settled, and they regained consciousness, they cleared the path to Tom and to Tony’s remains.  They were then medevac’d to Camp Bastion.  These are a couple of the over two dozen major incidents that Chris was involved with over his career where there has been heavy loss of life on our side or the enemies side.  Chris was awarded the Purple Heart and the Air Force Commendation Medal with Valor for this operation.

After the mission Chris and his teammate refused to return home and volunteered to stay in country to continue the mission supporting ODA 1231 for Operation Moshtarak on D-Day (D-1) before all other units arrived for support.  For 52 hours, they fought kept pushing and fighting through Marjah, with Chris and Derrick disarming and destroying dozens of IEDs throughout the mission.

Chris was medically retired on 28 Mar, 2017 due to TBI, Nerve Damage, Spinal Cord and Neck injuries, Hearing Loss and PTSD.  Before Chris retired, he was introduced to the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program, where he spent his time there as a public speaker to Air Force Leaders on Combat Wounded members and the Invisible Wounds of War.  Chris was one of the original five panel members for The Invisible Wounds of War Initiative for the USAF.  Chris was the Team Captain for the Air Force Wounded Warrior team in 2016, winning the Gold Medal in Volleyball and Shot-put, and the Silver medal in Discus. 

Chris’ military awards include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, and many more.

Chris now resides in Clovis, NM with his high school sweetheart and wife of 14 years, Lauren, and their three children.  He now works for Air Force Special Operations Command as a civilian.  Chris’ hobbies include spending time with his family, hunting, and softball (where he has just had the opportunity to be with Heroes Sports to travel around with other combat wounded vets to play softball and share their stories and help educate DoD as well as the civilian world on how war has affected them, transition, and resiliency).

Zachary James Mayne

U.S. Army – Sergeant – Ranger – Purple Heart

Zachary served as an Infantryman for just over five (5) years in the U.S. Army’s famous 3/75th Ranger Regiment where he served three (3) combat deployments.  On his last deployment Zach sustained combat injures and eventually had to be honorably discharged for medical reasons.  Zach is the recipient of two (2) Purple Hearts.

Upon separation from the U.S. Army, Zach moved home to Denver, Colorado with his longtime girlfriend. They plan to marry later this year.  Zach has recently completed the Veteran Development Program with Three Rangers Foundation and is looking forward to applying what he learned to his civilian transition.  Zach is also currently a full-time student at Regis University in Colorado where he is pursuing a degree in Neuroscience.  Zach hopes to one day continue his service to veterans through Neuroscience.

Gene Newsome

U.S. Army Veteran – Ranger, Special Forces – Team Fastrax Manager

Team Fastrax Manger Gene Newsome and has the Professional Exhibition (PRO) Rating, decorated veteran US Army Ranger and Green Beret. With over 15000 Skydives, he serves as an Accelerated Free Fall Instructor Evaluator, Tandem Instructor Examiner, Instructor Examiner, Pilot and a Master Rigger licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration at Start Skydiving in Middletown OH. Gene also was the Test Pilot For all the Flags.

Aaron Matthew Skelton

U.S. Air Force – Staff Sergeant – Iraq Veteran – Purple Heart

Aaron (Matt) Skelton was born in Richmond, Texas before ending up in Citrus Springs, Florida. He enlisted in the Air Force as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician in 2003. Skelton deployed 3 times to Iraq as a team member and team leader. He was shot during an Iraq deployment in 2008 and retired in 2012. He has since moved back to Texas with his wife, Ashleigh, and two children, Riley and Bryce. His military awards include the Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Combat Action Medal, and multiple Air Force and Army Commendations and Achievement Medals.

Jacey Shack

U.S. Army  – Chief Warrant Officer – Helicopter Pilot

Jacey Shack was born and raised in Albany, Texas where he participated in multiple activities including Boy Scouts, Football, Tennis and Track.  After graduating high school, Jacey attended Sky Helicopters where he earned his commercial rotorcraft license.  Jacey joined the United States Army in 2010 as a OH58-D Kiowa Warrior Scout Pilot and finely tuned his skills, molding him into an elite low level operator.   After completion of his 6-year commitment, Jacey returned to his home town and started S2 Helicopter Services.  S2 is owned and operated by Jacey with the support of his wife and two kids.  Jacey flies 7 days a week providing helicopter services including cattle herding, hunting, aerial surveying and photography.   Since beginning the adventure of business ownership Jacey has had the opportunity to participate in many of activities but none compare to the Halo for Freedom Warrior Foundation.

Blaine Campbell

U.S. Army Veteran

Upon graduation from high school in 1988, Blaine Campbell joined the United States Army with a Guaranteed Airborne assignment.   He served with the 2/325 82nd Airborne Infantry Regiment as an Infantryman and reconnaissance with the scout platoon.   Blaine joined Special Forces, and went through selection October 1993 and worked at the advanced airborne (HALO) school until his separation from the army.

Blaine has been an independent custom builder and consultant since 1999 with primary focus on historical and retail renovations projects nationally and internationally.  He was also involved in the family business, building and developing various marinas alongside his father in the state of Texas.  He currently owns and operates several companies in the retail construction and manufacturing industry. He has also worked with communities and municipalities advising on their Green Initiatives and Energy Reform Programs.  Blaine’s consulting experience includes working with HGTV’s 2008 Green Home in St. Lucie, Florida and he advised on a sustainable designed high school in North Hampton, North Carolina.

Blaine Campbell is an active member of the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC), The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and the American Solar Energy Society (ASES).

Brian Hamilton

U.S. Army – Staff Sergeant – Iraq & Afghanistan Veteran

Brian Hamilton was born on 26 May 1984 in Weatherford, TX.  He attended Basic Training in August 2007 and graduated from Advanced Individual Training from the United States Army Chaplain Center and School (USACHCS) in December 2007 as a Chaplain Assistant.

SSG Hamilton’s served as a Chaplain’s Assistant with the 82nd airborne in Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom 2009 – 2010, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom 2011-2012 and Operation Enduring Freedom 2014 – 2014.

SSG Hamilton was injured in April 2015 during an airborne operation Performing an Airborne Airfield Seizure where he sustained injuries to his vision, head, back and mental capabilities. Due to his physical limitations he was reassigned to the USAG-Fort Bragg Family Life Center and School where he served as the Facility NCOIC. He was Medically Retired in January 2017.

SSG Hamilton’ awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal (5th award), Army Achievement Medal (4th award), Army Good Conduct Medal (3rd award), National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon (Numeral 2), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (Numeral 2), NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge and the Army Driver Award.

He currently resides in Weatherford, Texas on the family farm that he grew up at helping around the property and family operated meat plant.

In his free time, SSG Hamilton enjoys spending time with family and friends, woodcraft, camping, fishing, and is currently working on a Associated Science Degree in Firearms Technology.

Wilhelm Ryan Gundlach

U.S Army – Specialist – Special Operartions- Afghanistan Veteran

Will spent his time in service as a 37F (psychological operations) assigned to Joint Special Operations Command. He deployed four times to Afghanistan and was honorably discharged in 2005.

After separation from the military, Will was hired as a contractor with USAID and was sent back to Afghanistan for 2 additional years.  Upon returning home he started attending college and tried to begin his civilian re-integration.  Unfortunately, due to several contributing conditions (including the birth of his only son) Will found himself in very difficult circumstances. Compounding theses circumstances was a non-supportive family who helped drive Will to become homeless.  Will worked anywhere he could and lived in his car at nights.  Eventually the car died and Will was forced to live on the street.  He finally decided to go to the men’s homeless shelter in Montgomery County, MD where he was introduced to Three Ranger Foundation.  Over the next 18 months, Will was mentored and re-connected with the VA.  Will qualified for HUDVash housing voucher and moved in to his first REAL home in over 4 years.  Today, Will works with RBC Wealth Management and, most importantly, has been reunited with his 5 year old son Liam.

Michael Ross Agee McBroom

Law Enforcement – Deputy Sheriff – Montgomery County Sheriff

Born as the son of two horse enthusiasts, Mike and his sister were raised in a small town in southern Virginia called Floyd. From an early age he possessed a deep desire to serve, spending his days as a child playing and learning about all things military. Once Mike graduated high school in 2004 he decided that college was not the most appealing choice for him, but in 2010, Mike graduated from Radford University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice.

Shortly thereafter he entered the Criminal Justice field by joining a local regional jail as a Correctional Officer. After completing the academy, a year later, Mike was recruited by his hometown Sheriff to become a Patrol Deputy. The next two years were spent working the road of the 382 square mile county as part of a two-man shift, frequently working alone because of manpower shortages. In search of a new opportunity Mike transferred to a neighboring department, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. Returning to the Correctional field, Mike was promoted to Sergeant after approximately a year of duty within the local jail. He quickly took advantage of the enhanced training opportunities offered by the department by becoming a firearms instructor and field training officer amongst other certifications. After two years as a Correctional Deputy he applied for, and was granted a transfer to, the Civil Process division of the office.

While working as a Courtroom Security Deputy in October of 2016, Mike’s father passed away from lung cancer two months after his diagnosis. Due to the loss of his father, but also to the sudden conclusion of a relationship, and a climax of personal struggles, Mike felt as if his spirit had broken. In November of 2016 Mike resigned his position as a Deputy Sheriff, ending a near six-year term of duty.

Shortly thereafter Mike began a search deep within to find a new direction in life. Following guidance from his step mother and a close friend, Mike was introduced to the Boulder Crest Retreat Foundation, which helps veterans dealing with many of the same issues he had been struggling with. Mike found a greatly renewed sense of purpose within Boulder Crest Retreat’s mission. In September of 2017 Mike participated in, and graduated from, the PATHH program. Since its completion Mike has been volunteering regularly at Boulder Crest Retreat’s facilities in Virginia and Arizona. He aspires to forge a new path in life of service to others once again.

Bryan C. Hood

U.S.  Army – Sergeant First Class – Kosovo, Iraq & Afghanistan Veteran

Bryan Hood joined the Army in July 1992 at the age of 17. The first 5 years he was a 13B Cannon Crewmember (Artillery) stationed at Ft. Stewart, Ga. In 1997 he reclassed to become a 67S OH-58 Helicopter Crew Chief and was stationed in Virginia and Germany. Brain completed his active duty requirements in November 2000 and enlisted into the Army Reserves as an 88N Transportation Movement Control Specialist. In 2008 Bryan enlisted into the Mississippi National Guard and joined the 2/20 SFG(A) where he served for two years.

After his time in the Mississippi Guard Bryan returned to Missouri and joined the Reserves as an 88N instructor for MOS NCOES schools. In 2013 he joined the Missouri National Guard as an 88M MOS reclassification instructor. He is still in the same unit but now as a QA NCOIC for the Engineer battalion.

Bryan’s deployments include Operation Intrinsic Action Aug 1996 in Kuwait, Operation Noble Eagle Jun 1999 to Kosovo KFOR1A, and Operation Iraqi Freedom 1 2003 to Iraq. In 2005 he began deploying as a consultant for the U.S. government to Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries in the region until he was injured in April 2012. Bryan is currently in the Missouri National Guard and plans to retire this year.

Gil Soto-Marrero

U.S. Army – Specialist – Afghanistan Veteran

Gil I. Soto-Marrero was born in July 28, 1980 in Arecibo, Puerto Rico.  His passion was to serve his country. The events of 911 gave him the final push that he needed to enlist in the U.S. Army.  He served for a total of 6 years and was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. In April 2004 he was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) as maintenance supervisor for the unit Humvees because of his background and experience as a mechanic. During this deployment Gil suffered a back injury.

After coming back from his deployment Gil separated from the regular Army and moved to San Antonio, Texas where he continued to serve in the Texas National Guard for one more year.

After the completion of his military service Gil decided to go back to college to complete his Associate degree in Computer Programming.  Gil and his wife now have four beautiful children and currently live in New Braunfels, Texas where he works as a mechanic.

David M. Bowers

U.S. Navy – Petty Officer 2nd Class – Iraq Veteran

Kentucky native David M. Bowers joined the Navy directly out of high school in 1980.  Growing up in a military family, David lived all over the U.S., but considers Texas home.  After completion of basic training at Great Lakes, his first duty station was Little Creek, Virginia to complete work with the mobile diving and salvage unit.  The mobile diving unit duties included working with salvage ships picking up planes and helicopters that had crashed at sea.  David’s team also participating in the salvage of the Air Florida Flight 90 from the Potomac River in January 1982 and in the relocation of re-activated battleships down from Pennsylvania to New Orleans.

David then transitioned to the Reserves where he worked on dive locker duties on the USS Iowa, the USS Hoel, the USS Comstock, and the USS Proteus and was security team leader with the Undersea Warfare Unit 109.  He soon deployed to Norway with a communications unit then transferred into Adak Naval Air Station, Alaska with a Mobile Undersea Warfare Unit in 1988.

Subsequent deployments included Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Singapore, Bali, Australia, and Puerto Rico for drug operations detail.

In 2002, he became a security team leader and in 2003, David suffered a medical emergency, underwent many, many surgeries, and spent the next 2 1/2 years recuperating at Bethesda Navy Hospital in D.C.   David had over 70 surgeries and laid in a hospital bed for most his time at Bethesda.  He was medically retired in 2005 as 2nd Class Engine Man.  Dave now resides in Texas.

Travis Simons

U.S. Army – Staff Sergeant – Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran  

Travis was born in Virginia Beach, but moved to Texas at the age of 2 and claims it as home. He joined the Army in January of 2004 as an Infantryman. His first duty station was as a proud member of the “No Slack” BN at Ft. Campbell, and he would deploy twice to Iraq with this unit, as part of OIF IV and OIF VI/VII. After returning from his 2nd deployment to Iraq, he was stationed at Fort Carson. Shortly after getting there, he deployed to Afghanistan with 4th BDE as part of OEF X. While stationed at Ft. Carson, he went to Ft. Polk as an OC, and then was DA Select for recruiting. He spent over 2 years recruiting in Syracuse, NY as a part of the Syracuse Recruiting BN. Afterwards he was stationed at Ft. Hood, where he spent over 2 years as a part of 1st Cav. In 2016, he was honorably discharged after deciding not to re-enlist. A few months after getting out, he graduated with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Small Business Entrepreneurship. Travis is currently in the Private Security industry, where he does work as a Personal Protection Officer, Private Investigator, and Fugitive Recovery Agent. He lives in the Dallas area with his wife April, and their 2 children, Patrick and Lila.

Please check back daily for additional 2018 Warrior participants. We are adding more Warriors as we recieve their bios and photos

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